Time is an autobiography depicting the troubling times of a young black woman and her sons awaiting the return of their father. The project is produced and directed by Garett Bradley. It starts out in black & white with a grainy filter as if it’s being recorded by a home video set. In front of the lens we are greeted by a young black girl holding her stomach, with a little boy running around her. She then confirms that she’s having twins and as she begins to introduce us to her reality, it becomes evident that one of the most primary characters seems to be missing from this “almost complete home” …a man, a father in fact. It is right then, that Sibil begins to give us an explanation of why the picture looks incomplete.
Sibil Fox grew up in Louisiana where she met her high school sweetheart Robert Richardson at 16. Although Sibil mentions that she came from hardworking & earnest stock with an educator for a father and a housekeeper for a mother, the trajectory of her life wasn’t exactly similar. Sibil pursued her dream of opening up a clothing store. However, with twins on the way and money running low, Sibil and her husband decided to take a grave risk by robbing a bank. Yet the risk proves to be overwhelmingly larger than the reward when they get caught and sentenced to a combined 84 years in prison. With Sibil & her nephew serving 12 years each & Robert 60 years, Sibil comes out first and immediately gets to work on not only recovering her life, but raising her boys and working to get Robert out of jail. This becomes the primary point of conflict for the remaining duration of the film.
Sibil gets out of prison and becomes a public speaker, sharing her personal experiences about the times she endured while being held in the facility, divulging horrifying moments such as being stripped for cavity checks and only being able to see her family twice a month. Once she gets out, she has to face not only the lost time she missed with her children but also the time she lost putting together her life in terms of the direction she intended to go and the mere ability to provide for her family. In addition to that, she commences the long drawn out battle of trying to get Robert’s sentence reduced. Collectively all these challenges would pose hurdles that many would never be able to overcome. However, Sibil defies all odds through her perseverance, resilience, and her unwavering faith. Even when times grow tough, Sibil remains strong, confident that she will see the return of her husband before his sentence is up.
“Time” is a well put together autobiography that places you intimately in the room with Sibil as well as her family members, allowing you to feel every emotion that they experience while being informed about Louisiana’s correctional facility. The use of color as well as southern jazz music accompanying the film immediately sets the tone for the story that is being told and on top of that, who doesn’t like a happy ending?